History

This town was founded in 1590 nder the guidance of its patron saint San Nicolas de Tolentino. Later on, it was ceded to Mitra by the Agustinians. However, sensing that much ado was brought upon the inhabitants and religious beneficiaries by the cession, the Agustinians had to take over the administration again, giving the place the benefits of the religious doctrines then in force in Ibahay and Mitra.

Inasmuch as in some historical books equivocations are contained with respect to the period or epoch of the above-mentioned cession which occurred, we find it necessary to present the following documents in 1617 to correct the error we have noticed.

We, the president of the Royal Audencia and the chancellery of the Philippine Islands, upon whose shoulders are reposed the tasks of steering the governmental ship into proper action pursuant to the decrees and apostolic bulls granted us by His Majesty, the King and the Prince of Castille and Leon, in accordance with the recommendations of the religious dignitaries, parishes, townspeople, beneficiaries, do hereby affirm that the Very Reverend Fr. Juan Ruiz, procurator-general of the Agustinian Corporation, now parish priest of Ajuy owing to the death of Fr. Pedro Gonzales, a Presbyterial priest, has appealed to us to grant the Agustinians the privilege to administer once again the parish in Ajuy with the aid of the doctrines of Ibahay, Romblon Islands, Sibuyan, Banton, Cimara and Osigan because to leave the parish under the jurisdiction of Mitra is to further the inconveniences suffered by the inhabitants because of the mismanagement of the parishes.- Signed, Andres de Alcaraz, Manila July 8, 1617.”

In 1626, the Agustinians left this place in exchange for the parish in Guimbal. Later on, they managed the parish again up to 1792 when they left the parish to the charge of the clergy of the other clergymen. Finally, in 1857, the Agustinians returned to the place and managed the administration of the parish, signing the last clergyman in charge of the parish to the clergy in Mambusao.

In 1788, the Moros, finding no room for their barbaric exploits in the town of Barotac Viejo, went to this place (Ajuy) and there flung their havoc and torturous caprices inasmuch as the town was hopelessly defenseless because the military forces under the command of Juan Suarez, mayor of Iloilo, were at that time in Manila and had not enough time to return to the island of Panay in time to assist in the defense of Ajuy.

These Moros, however, who caused so mush trouble and confusion in the island of Panay, suddenly calmed down and acted as good as human beings never devoid of compassion. For who would not change one’s way of life particularly one’ beastly nature, at the sight of a loved one so fair and lovely to behold? Such was the common fate of the Moros who invaded Ajuy. One f their chieftains, by the name of Iling, was so deeply enamored by a beautiful woman in this place that he promised to her, his Lady-Love, that he would mend his ways if only to achieve the blessings of her love. But the woman demanded that, if ever he was truly in Love with her as what he said, he should renounce his faith in Mohammedanism and embrace Christianity. The woman then went to Manila for reasons we are not sure of; possibly, she wanted to flee from the influence of the Moro lover or she simply wanted to pursue her business engagements since she was a merchant. The Moro chieftain followed her, appealing zealously to her emotions, at the same time promising to fulfill her wishes and desires that he adopt Christianity and be a good Christian, the rest of his life. At last, the woman consented to marry him. The marriage ceremony was performed and eventually the chieftain fulfilled his promises. He became a devout Christian and even aided the government in its fight against the pirates. Later on, commander of the naval forces and with this appointment, his fidelity to the King of Spain grew intense. He fought bitterly against the brutal pirates who, years later, invaded the island, thus helping in the preservation of peace in the land of the woman he had loved and married.

Public Buildings: all made f wood, constructed by Fr. Antonio Fermentino. Population: in 1898, it had 6,228 inhabitants. Its Agustinian ministers were:

Fr. Juan R. de Sahagun         1618
Fr. Pascual Rivera                 1621
Fr. Juan Bustamante             1623
Fr. Juan de las Cuevas          1624
Fr. Alonso Clemente             1626
Fr. Antonio Fermentino         1858
Fr. Melquiades Arizmendi     1865
Fr. Jose Ibeas                       1868
Fr. Luis Perez                       1890
Fr. Lazaro Ramirez               1892
Fr. Benigno Diaz                   1895

Reference: Spanish –Agustinian Historical Archive and Official Bulletin, Volume XVIII, July-December, 1022, pp. 55-57 


 

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